The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is commemorating the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) by celebrating the powerful impact of the third year of Global Partnership Program’s Global Small Grants Program. This year, the Global Small Grants program supported 20 initiatives with grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 to advance LGBTQ+ equality in 18 countries.
IDAHOBIT marks the anniversary of the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. Each year, advocates and allies around the world commemorate the day by focusing on efforts to end violence and discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.
“Each May 17, as we mark International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, we shine a light on the amazing efforts of advocates around the world to raise up and protect LGBTQ+ people in their own communities. HRC is honored to support their inspiring work through our Small Grants Program. IDAHOBIT reminds us that around the world, millions of people still experience violence and discrimination simply for being who they are – but also that, when we work together, globally, we can fight back, save lives, and change hearts and minds to create a more equitable and inclusive world,"
- said Jean Freedberg, HRC Director of Global Partnerships.
HRC’s Global Small Grants Program builds upon the principles of IDAHOBIT and its 2023 theme “Together Always: United in Diversity,” by providing practical support to members of our Global Leadership Network, an ever-growing group of some 200 LGBTQ+ advocates from nearly 100 countries.
This year’s grant recipients included five from Africa, four from Asia/Central Asia, six from Europe, and five from Latin America and the Caribbean.
This year, our recipients conducted innovative movement-strengthening projects focused on engaging employers or people of faith as allies, strengthening racial equality for LGBTQ+ people, and building up trans leadership and advocacy.
The HRC Global Small Grants program is made possible with generous support from ADM and we are grateful for their partnership.
In Kyrgyzstan, a HRC Global Innovator through his organization Kyrgyz Indigo used his Global Small Grant to promote transgender rights and visibility by creating a class of 10 plaintiffs to challenge legal recognition for trans people. In addition, they developed an interactive media course about the trans community, and created a series of informational comics about trans people.
HRC Global Innovator Alina Kolosova through her organization NGO LighT organized a financial literacy training program to provide economic empowerment to 15 trans people in Central Asia.
In Thailand, HRC Global Innovator Ryan Figueredo organized one of the first roundtable discussions on the intersection of LGBTIQ+ identity, disability, and mental health through his organization Equal Asia Foundation. The event, held both in-person and online, reached more than 300 people from a wide range of organizations, and attendees were empowered with information about different forms of accessibility, vocabulary, and microaggressions to help support LGBTQ+ people.
In Colombia, HRC Global Innovator Alba Reyes brought together 32 young LGBTQ+ people in Quibdo to address issues around bullying and suicide prevention through art and photography. They conducted a training in "Psychological First Aid," which provided participants with tools to support those closest to them, including family members and caregivers with lessons learned. Alba said, "Creating [these] spaces is necessary to make it clear that no matter what your identity is, you have the right to live a fearless life and count on your support system and family, either blood or chosen."
In Panama, HRC Global Innovator Pau Gonzalez through his organization Hombres Trans Panamá in collaboration with PFLAG Panamá developed a project with six faith leaders to promote LGBTQ+ inclusion in religion. Titled, "Faith Leaders and Families, Building Bridges of Love, Respect and Inclusion, for Discriminated People in Panama," the project developed a video campaign that featured faith leaders across different faiths emphasizing the values of love, respect, and inclusion. This video reached thousands of people on social media. They also conducted a workshop for lay advocates on how to engage people of faith as allies for equality. The participants came together at the end to present about their faiths and values of inclusion. Rabbi Gustavo Kraselnik said "From the perspective of faith, every human being is a divine creature and that is the premise from which one can meet the other...So, I celebrate this initiative that allows us to build bridges, that allows us to promote a culture of encounter, respect and inclusion. Congratulations to all those involved in it."
In Barbados, HRC Global Innovator Donnya "Zi " Piggot through their organization Pink Coconuts, developed an online web platform (pinkcoconuts.com) and a network of LGBTQ inclusive small businesses across the Caribbean for LGBTQ+ travelers. This innovative platform includes opportunities for the local LGBTQ+ community to sign up for events called "LGBTQ Hangouts" to develop connections and increase the visibility of LGBTQ inclusive small businesses in the islands. Zi's future plans include expanding into other Caribbean countries and Sub-Saharan Africa. Zi says "We’re thankful to the Human Rights Campaign for providing us with the small seed to get our engines going."